The Coastguard, RNLI, Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, Dorset Police and the Ambulance Services worked together in an operation to rescue 11 rowers who had capsized in the river Stour

Eleven people – nine of whom were teenagers – were rescued on Saturday (17 March)  after two rowing boats and a safety boat capsized in the River Stour in heavy weather conditions that gripped the UK over the weekend.

The Coastguard and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service received multiple 999 calls after 11am reporting several people were in difficulties at the Iford Bridge and needed immediate assistance.

Some of the rowers had fallen into the water, some were clinging to trees and others to an upturned boats.

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Lymington and Southbourne Coastguard Rescue Teams, the Coastguard Area Commander, Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter based at Lee-on-Solent, Mudeford RNLI inshore lifeboat, Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, Dorset Police, South Central HART, Dorset Air Ambulance and South Central and South Western Ambulance Services were all deployed to the scene.
The rescue was coordinated by the National Maritime Operations Centre.

All casualties were brought to safety. 10 of them were taken to hospital to undergo medical checks.

The Coastguard helicopter used its FLIR camera to carry out an extensive search of the area in case any further casualties were still in the water. The helicopter was stood down just after 12.30pm after it was confirmed that all casualties were safely accounted for.